India on 8 May 2017 was unanimously elected as the President of the UN-Habitat, an organ of the United Nations’ Organisation (UNO).
The country has been elected to head the body after 10 years. Since the UN-Habitat came into being in 1978, it is only the third time that India has been elected to lead this important organization after 2007 and 1988.
The UN-Habitat promotes socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements across the world. The body reports to the United Nations General Assembly.
On the other hand, M. Venkaiah Naidu, the Union Minister of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation, also chairs the 26th Meeting of the Governing Council of the UN-Habitat in Nairobi, Kenya, which commenced on 8 May 2017. Naidu will preside over the deliberations of the Governing Council of UN-Habitat for the next two years.
The theme of the four day meeting of the 58 member Governing Council of UN-Habitat is “Opportunities for effective implementation of the New Urban Agenda.”
In addition, Naidu also chaired the Bureau Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Ministers’ Conference on Housing and Urban Development beginning in Nairobi on 8 May 2017.
• The United Nations Human Settlements Programme is the United Nations agency for human settlements and sustainable urban development.
• It was established in 1978.
• It was established as an outcome of the First UN Conference on Human Settlements and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat I) held in Vancouver, Canada in 1976.
• It is headquartered at the United Nations Office at Nairobi, Kenya.
• The mandate of UN-Habitat derives from the Habitat Agenda, adopted by the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1996.